Grain and Vegetable Bowl

Every week I either sprout or cook a large mixture of legumes and grains to use in my vegetable bowls. This way I can bring a vegetable bowl to work and don’t have to spend money on eating out throughout the week, and I have it on hand to snack on in a pinch. Bowls like this are nutritious, full of energy and protein, and adapt really well to different sauces. I have huge jars in my pantry full of buckwheat, lentils, fava beans, quinoa, black beans, barley, chickpeas, different kinds of rice, teff, steel cut oats, farro, freekah, couscous, etc. Buy them in bulk and mix them up every week to get a variety. You can find these grains and legumes at your local supermarket and health food store to experiment with. If you are using dried legumes always soak them overnight first which will cut the cooking time. The usual cooking ratio is 1 cup grain or legume to 2 cups water for 30 to 40 minutes. Keep the heat on medium to low, and after you shut the heat off let it cool with the lid.

Teff is one of the oldest grains to be cultivated, going back as far as 7000 years to Ethiopia. The list of benefits for this grain is long. It boasts a profile of 14 vitamins and minerals, highest is B vitamins, calcium, manganese, magnesium, phosphorus, iron, and copper. Each one cup serving has 10 grams of protein and 7 grams of fiber. Studies show that it helps to balance hormones, improves and strengthens bone density and digestion, boosts the immune system, helps to prevent and control diabetes, and is great for cardiovascular health and weight loss. Teff has a unique texture and sturdy consistency, is versatile, and mixes well with anything.

Lentils are loaded with iron, protein, fiber, amino acids, and a full profile of vitamins and minerals. A true powerhouse legume that is low in calories, versatile, and tastes great. Some of the vital nutrients include high levels of molybdenum, folate, copper, phosphorus, manganese, iron, B1, pantothenic acid, zinc, B6, and potassium. Deficiencies of these vitamins and minerals can lead to heart conditions, nervous system issues, poor hair, skin, and nails, brain fog, low energy, etc. Soaking them overnight before cooking helps with nutrient absorption, as well as with all legumes.

Quinoa has the highest protein content of all the grains. They come in white, red, and black and make a complete protein, containing all of the essential nine amino acids needed to support growth and repair tissue and organs. One cup of quinoa has a little over 8 grams of protein, 20 grams of carbohydrates, and 5 grams of fiber, and is high in essential minerals such as folate, iron, and zinc. Once a staple in grain South America, quinoa is now reaching it’s way around the globe as a delicious superfood.

This mixture is purple barley, wild rice, teff, quinoa, and lentils.I cooked everything together (soaked the lentils overnight) with a bit of coconut oil and salt. This is an idea of what you could make at home while improvising on what I use. As always, even if you just have a high quality extra virgin olive oil, salt, and pepper, anything will taste great. Be sure to add some raw vegetables for added enzymes and nutrients, spinach, kale, cucumber, avocado, tomato, parsley, basil, cilantro, arugula, beet, carrot, peppers, etc.

Grain and Vegetable Bowl

Yields: 3-4 servings

  • 4 cups of a cooked grain/legume mixture (barley, teff, rice, buckwheat, quinoa, farro, lentil, black beans, wild rice, amaranth, millet, mung beans, freekah, etc)
  • Vegetables
  • 1 bunch chopped asparagus, top halves
  • 1/2-1 red chopped onion
  • 1 chopped avocado
  • 1 cup fresh peas
  • 3 chopped small tomatoes
  • Lime Dressing
  • 1/2 cup chopped fresh basil or cilantro (save some for garnish)
  • 1 tbsp grated ginger
  • 1-2 cloves grated garlic
  • juice from 2 whole limes
  • 6 tbsp olive or coconut oil
  • salt, pepper, and cayenne to taste

Cook the grains and legumes above or of your choosing. If you only have brown rice then use that. Make sure the grains and legumes are dry and loose, strain any excess water out. Prepare the dressing for this by mixing the lime juice, garlic, ginger oil, herbs, salt and pepper. Chop the vegetables and toss that into the finished grain and legumes mix. Pour this mixture into a bowl, drizzle the dressing on top, and garnish with fresh herbs.

  • Preparation time: 15 minutes
  • Cook time: 30 minutes
  • Total time: 35 minutes
Grain and Vegetable Bowl

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